tv [untitled] December 16, 2011 6:01pm-6:31pm PST
we have heard a lot of discussion in the last few minutes about legislative intent. we all have lawyers and people interested in policy and could spend a lot of time on that. what is critical about this legislation is location, location, location. is it fair to brick-and-mortar businesses? it would be hard to say that the board of supervisors intended for brick-and-mortar businesses to take a backseat to mobile food trucks. it is weighing the factors and weighing the benefits and arms. it was intended to be the job of dpw. i appreciate that dpw is overwhelmed by this. it is a large program they are not used to. it has been in the city before. the police department had it. it is not completely new for them to implement it. they have failed to implement it and consider the factors that
they have heard. have you all heard what the officers told you tonight and as you have noted, we do not have a record of the hearing officer, what she did, and how she weighed things. another interesting thing that was mentioned is that we should allow this conditionally approved a permit to go for because we can always revoke it. it is not the purpose of issuing permits and going through a process where you involve the public and have a protest hearings to say, we are going to let this happen. and then we will decide to revoke it. the purpose of this program and the oversight exercise is to identify the impact of front and come up with conditions to address them or decide that the permit was not proper to be issued at this location. they have other locations and that is what this portrait modify the permit to take away v.k.'s right to be at 50 cal.
it is not my understanding there have been any denials regarding to their request, just overwhelming opposition at two locations. those are things for the board to consider. i wanted to ask a question -- the parking space could be a moving target. does that mean that if a parking space is available, somebody has to find another space on there. the last point i want to reiterate is the truck that we have seen has windows on the wrong side. again, the service will not happen on the sidewalk. is it the intent of v.k. to do a mid-circle turnaround so they can get the windows on the sidewalk side. an incredibly dangerous situation and it seems like you in a parking control officers out there. there was a lot of impact that were not properly evaluated.
we would ask you to modify the permit and not allow trucks at this location. thank you. >> thank you. next a rebuttal from miss smith. >> hello again. i will make it short. the brick-and-mortar restaurants do not have the luxury to pick up and move their restaurant to another location that the food trucks and do. this location at 50 california doesn't need to be moved. the business that needs to be moved is the food truck, since they have the ability to do that. the dpw and dph has admitted they do not have the power to regulate the food trucks ordinance. they do not have the manpower for it. everybody is cutting jobs in this economic time. bless the dpw for taking on this horrendous issue. no one else has stated that the old ordinance covered by the
police department -- the permits were $10,000 per year. under the new ordinance, and they are $500 per year. a big difference. maybe that is why there were no food trucks operating prior to this amended ordinance. there are grandfathered food truck set a $500 -- rather, $10,000 under the police department. the new ones, it is pretty cheap. the dpw nor jeremy paul addressed the fact that the truck would be part of the wrong way. he also said that chipotle is opening another restaurant. they are owned by mcdonald's. deep pockets. these are not mom and pop restaurant. there are owned by mcdonald's and can afford the competition. he also mentioned that there are
food trucks at city hall. city hall is not the financial district. when you open a restaurant, whether it is a restaurant or a office, you need to get a certificate of occupancy with all of the permits sign off before you can even open your doors for business. this includes ada, health, her everything that it takes to open a restaurant. you need a certificate of occupancy. why is this ordinance allowing permits to be issued without all of the proper permits? why are the -- what are they allowing these conditional permits with these sign-offs to follow? thank you. >> ok. appeal 11-105. no? 106?
>> i will begin with trying to address some of the comments that were made. it should be made aware that i did challenge the environmental review issues that were raised earlier. i got one of the most curious opinions i have ever seen from the city attorney's office in that what they have said is that the ordinance itself was not a project and therefore the discretionary acts to approve the ordinance did not require environmental review. that was not so much as curious as the second part of the opinion which said that each one of these permits that gets issued does not need an army to
review. because it does not need in our mentor review, there is no way to appeal it. we tried to appeal it before the board of supervisors. i am hoping to avoid litigation on this issue. i would rather see this get done administratively. but there are environmental impacts. and they are serious environmental impacts. the traffic and the communication. i do not want to get further into that. i want to address a question that president goh raised about parking regulations. the discussions that dpw had with dpp were not with regard to a specific location. it was asking them are you going to enforce the parking regulations? the answer was yes, that is my job, i am going to enforce the parking regulations. none of these locations would ever run by somebody to do that. that is what needs to be done in order for these permits to be
operable for everyone. some comments were made about the ordinance. the board of supervisors took into consideration all of these things about one year ago. no locations were ever discussed. there is nothing in the record that talks about specific locations. in fact, most of the discussion was off the grid. let me tell you -- the financial district is not off the grid. it is the heart of the grid. the approval of these permits will destroy the people who are in this grid and it will create an impact that ripples throughout the grid. the one other thing i found amusing in the permit-holders
testimony is that there is going to be all of this new business. a new vitality that is going to come for us. i do not know where this is coming from. people are not going to be driving in from the east bay to go to a food truck. they're not want to be landing from another planet. we have the people that we have. there is a fixed economy here. the notion that there is going to be a task force that is going to straighten some of these issues out -- by the time that task force makes any conclusions, many of these businesses will be dead. i am urging you to deny these permits. >> ladies and gentlemen, i will be very brief.
dpw representatives have already a knowledge -- have already acknowledged that no assessments or economic surveys were conducted to assess the impact the mobile facilities will have on businesses. ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about people's livelihoods here. this is not a small matter. they cannot be issuing permits without having any idea of how it will impact people's livelihoods. thank you very much. that is all i have to say. >> thank you. appeal number 11-107. just to be clear, you have three
minutes total for everyone in this group. >> thank you. i want to address the board of supervisors. the argument that they are using. i come from the marina. mark farrell, our supervisor, met with the marina association. he is very personable. i asked him about it and none of this information was given to the board of supervisors. nothing about going into the financial district. the board of supervisors were given a kool-aid and he told me they had no information. there were told it was a great thing. if you go down to the tenderloin, the food truck would be great there. you are afraid to eat in places. to bring it into the financial district is crazy. before you can open in the financial district, they would kill you on the 10th ada grimsson. -- they would kill you on the
ada bathrooms. it is just insane. no brick-and-mortar estrada is going to say the food truck can use my bathroom. what bathrooms are they going to use? i would like to know. they are want to give the permit and dpw will not be able to enforce this. they need to or three agents or policemen on each of these trucks to really enforce this 100-page regulation. there is no way in the world they can do it. this is just crazy. the stakeholders are not informed. the property holders did not get anything. the businesses did not get anything. the stake holders were not at the table. just like boma and the guy from the golden gate restaurant
association did not pay any attention and the guy who approved it from there has been fired. he did not represent the golden gate resign -- the golden gate restaurant association. the guy who signed it is out. this is a kool-aid job that was not thought out. there are many districts that could use a food truck. this is not the place for it. who is going to drive in and pay $30 two-part -- to park because you like to go to a food truck? this whole vitality deal is a kool-aid job. thank you. >> thank you. the next appellant. 11-108. >> i would just like to note that jeremy paul did not address my business, oasis go, as like
food. i find it humiliating to think that what we do is not good enough for the area. we have been providing quick service, homemade food for the last 12 years to. kasa has a brick and mortar restaurant in the marina. they do not want to make a commitment or investment in the financial district. they are coming in, automatically making money. when i opened an oasis grill 12 years ago, i did not make money for two years. our customer is the young customer. we have one of the highest ratings on yelp in the financial district. we provide very good food and wraps. they can come out and know they're getting quality food.
i am not mcdonald. i really look at everything. i tried to buy organic and do everything the right way. for them to say that we are not doing that, we are not providing these services, it is heartbreaking. i put everything into this business. thank you. >> thank you. appeal 11-111. mr. fish. >> mr. paul mentioned about the tech craze in his discussion against the appellants. i built 30 tech spaces and i can tell you that twitter is at 185 parish st. of the 30, maybe two are within
10 blocks of the location we're talking about. secondly, in the dpw did not do any type of job responding to the issues. i pay $825 for one permit for my truck. i have 14. i just found out that these guys pay $500 to get a truck. i get thousands of dollars worth of tickets every year and they're going to sit there for five hours and get a free pass? that is not justice. that is not the way a city runs. i worked for dick evans when i was a kid, the dpw chief, and he talked straight. you people have got to talk straight. you have to understand the fate of these people downtown. thank you. >> thank you. the last one -- 11-112.
mr. aguilar. >> i just want to comment on something that mr. paul said. my family has been in the restaurant business since i was born. we have two restaurants in the embarcaderos and one of in sacramento. my parents opened the restaurant with blood, sweat, and tears. they are now retired, living a nice life. i have been running the restaurant for seven years. i am 31 years old and i think i am doing a good job. i am also on yelp, facebook, twitter, you name it. as times change, restaurants change. i do not think my dad ever thought, i'm going to open a restaurant and let this truck parked in front of it to steal my business. it does not work that way. who could start of a business with $500?
it is the way the customers are treated. that is why they come back and it is why we have been open for so long. it would be sad for our restaurant to close and for all of these people to have their dreams crush over a truck. thank you. >> mr. paul, you have six minutes of rebuttal. >> thank you. president goh, was indicated i should have additional time if i should need it. given the time that the appellants should have to raise issues, we have issues that will exceed six minutes in responding. >> go ahead and do your presentation. we will go from there. >> good evening, commissioners. i am the executive chef and co-
owner of kasa. i am a san francisco resident and have been living with my two children for years now. i love the city and i am wholly invested in san francisco. i would like to introduce you to our indian tribe and its system and talk briefly about why trucks are fair competition. to reiterate that we have a no like food conlict -- no like food conflicts. we have invested a lot of time and money in legislation. we do not serve burritos. and rice bowls. we serve a traditional indian food with our house made bread. we put curry inside. the rice bowls are also rice
with curry and chutneys. we did our homework before we apply for these spots. we collected hundreds of signatures in support. we picked locations carefully per legislation not to upset any restaurants with like food conflicts in. we are part of the restaurant community and understand exactly what these people are going through. i have read through all of the issues raised. there are many inaccuracies that we can address. i wanted to focus on a common thread of unfair competition and lower prices. having run both the restaurant and a truck, it is a misconception to think back -- to think that you can start a truck with $500.
our prices are the same as the restaurant inside the truck for several reasons. both trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants must prepare and store their food in approved kitchens. trucks also have to load, transport, and reheat their food in vehicles that use very expensive propane or gasoline generators. brick-and-mortar restaurants to cut -- to pay more rent but they benefit from greater convenience and predictability to offer a dining experience. they supplement their sales through catering, which trucks cannot do. trucks have a limited capacity which decrease the sales they can do in a comparable period with brick and mortar. they employ tremendous maintenance costs and sales are weather dependent. when a truck goes down with a mechanical instance, the sales are gone. trucks pay the exact same sales tax, payroll tax, healthy sf,
and other permit costs. we also employ numerous people. food waste is much harder to control as well. you have to go with a certain amount of food. this drives the cost of operation up. these unique limitations and added costs to operate a truck level the playing field for fair competition. i also want to touch on the other topics of the definition of like food. the contention that like service equates to like food is far too broad to be practical and is not considered a practical definition. the definition is focusing on the ethnicity of the food. there are no indian restaurants in the radius of either of the locations being appealed. the definition of like food also takes into account the overall composition of the menu. the lady from oasis grill, a lot of respect, i am sure she is
doing a wonderful job, i believe everything she is saying, but it is not indian food, it is not like food. a few indian spices does not make it indian food. we are in the and and they are middle eastern. -- we are indian and they are middle eastern. there are very many soup and salad places. there is a plaque -- there is a practical reason for this. lack of much needed diversity. it is difficult to find a small enough space to rent with a full cooking hood where you can sell a niche product like ours. we have looked at many spaces so we know this to be true. if the california and 61 beale are ideal blocks for a food truck. the restaurants in the radius are a whole block away, on the
other side of a huge building. the same is true for 61 beale st. it is a great plot for a truck. a massive sidewalk, limited food options, and zero culturally diverse food available. this whole process is ultimately about san francisco. by upholding these permits, and you will enable us to bring affordable indian food to consumers in the financial district, create jobs, and increase tax revenue for the city. the permit is consistent with what the legislation is designed for, fair competition on a structurally suitable block with no like food conflicts. we are confident we will improve the vitality and street life of each neighborhood that we serve. thank you. >> how much time do need? >> i need a few minutes.
>> 3? 2? >> 3 would be great. >> i am a business partner. i also have two children who attend sherman elementary school. we got serious time and effort into choosing these locations. as restaurant owners, we understand that we would not want a food truck parked right in front of our location either. that is why we did not choose any spots right in front of any restaurant. this lot is a good example. there is zero retail. yes, chipotle is going in, but they were not when we applied, and that is not like food anyway itkasa supports two san francisco families. i ask that you of all the dpw decision to uphold the permit. i want to clarify some decisions that were brought up.
on the bathroom forms, it is the condition to starting operations. we have bathroom locations for our permit that is in use now. it was not difficult for us to find those. we do not have the locations can down for this particular permit and we are sure we will not use it until we do it we are not in possession of the truck for this permit yet. it is being constructed in a way that allows us to open up on the driver's side so we will not the parking backwards. we are designing it specifically for this location. we have planned it very carefully. >> i'm going to interrupt you. where are the bathrooms? >> live at said, we do not have them yet for this permit. but we would never operate or open our doors before we got them.
i think there is some concern about all of the applications flowing into the dpw. applying for a permit and getting a permit granted is different. it is the job of the dpw to ensure that there are not 8 food truck on every block. that would not be good for anybody. i wanted to make that point. i wanted to bring up something on the parking issues. there is a discrepancy there, whether it is a time limit for the yellow zones or something else. this is not a new thing and it is a good opportunity to try to reconcile those things. historically, this has been the case under the police department permit, the same discrepancy existed, and it was up to the mta to enforce the parking meters then like it is now. now, the process is becoming more public carry it is a good
opportunity with the group of commissioner wiener to understand there could be a medallion program or something that could bring those together. it does not -- it seems like something that can be worked out. really, we are coming to you as small business owners, asking you to uphold our permits. we did our best to choose a spot that adheres to the law. we put time and money and effort into following this legislation to a t. >> thank you. you will have six minutes of rebuttal as well. >> i am from the department of public works. in hearing the various appellants and everyone else has stated one of the major issues was economic costs, specifically they stated that
the department has not done an analysis in these specific cases. that is true. we cannot disprove the allegation nor affirmed it in these specific cases because there is insufficient information, specifically as it relates to this. i believe the restaurant gaylord said they lost a certain percentage of their revenue in the last year. one thing that everyone needs to recognize is this is among the most difficult times, within the last decade, for pretty much every industry out there. everyone is struggling. i am not sure, moving forward, how the department can evaluate